Organizing Opportunities in the Trump Era

If President Trump keeps even a fraction of the promises made by Candidate Trump, an unprecedented number of people in our country will suffer immediate and serious consequences.

By Karen Uffelman | January 18, 2017 |
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Ted Eytan, Collaboratives--Tides Advocacy

If you are anything like us, here at Percolator HQ, 2016 election news was generally bad news. Devastating, in fact.

If President Trump keeps even a fraction of the promises made by Candidate Trump, an unprecedented number of people in our country will suffer immediate and serious consequences. Trump has threatened to roll back progress we’ve made on health care, civil rights, immigration reform, environmental protection, and more.

But, as with most things horrible, there is a silver lining. If your organization works on any of the many issues under threat, this is a golden organizing opportunity that you cannot afford to ignore.

Your database is currently filled with people who care about your mission, probably care even though your success doesn’t directly impact their personal short-term health, safety, or livelihood. Those people are important, and you should work to attract more of them. But the opportunity you have right now is that there may be people currently in your database, and definitely outside of your database, who will be facing serious personal consequences related to issues you work on. You need to identify those contacts in your database, figure out how to identify those who aren’t in your database yet, and make a plan to engage them.

Please put your organizing hat on. Let’s say you are an organization that’s working toward expanding access to health care. According to the Urban Institute, there are 19 million people who will lose

Let’s say you are an organization that’s working toward expanding access to health care. According to the Urban Institute, there are 19 million people who will lose health care coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed (and as many as 30 million if repeal causes the collapse of the market and leads to states dropping more coverage). Another report notes that up to 9 million children could lose coverage both directly and as states lower the eligibility limits for coverage.*

We are talking about millions (not hundreds, not thousands, but millions) of people with a personal stake in your issue, and there will never be a better opportunity to engage them.

Not working on access to health insurance or children’s health? You probably still have a golden organizing moment ahead of you (Reproductive health? Immigration? Standing Rock? Sorry, the dart board seems to be large). People personally impacted by the Trump administration’s plans for your issues should be a top priority for engagement focus as you plan your organizing and field work. “Impacted communities” used to be the high-media-value protagonists in our campaign stories…they are now, almost literally, all of us.

  1. Think about the recent policy gains your organization supports that President-Elect Trump has promised to attack.
  2. Identify the people in your database that may be personally affected by such attacks.
  3. Estimate the people outside of your database, but inside your regional focus, who may be personally affected by such attacks.
  4. Build your organizing plan to engage those people, highlighting their personal stake and the impact your campaigns or programs will have for them.

Ready? Is your CRM ready? If not, give a holler. We can help.

*Urban Institute reports all linked here.

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